Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 37
  2. Negative: 6 out of 37
Buy On
  1. 76
    Its combat system isn't the greatest and its pacing is inconsistent, but for those who put in the time to see all Risen has to offer, it's an experience that won't be forgotten.
  2. There's a great role-playing game here, but it's hiding behind a terrible interface and clunky combat.
  3. Struggle through the admittedly bad third-person action, and you'll find a role-playing experience well worth your time.
  4. Risen loses a bit in the porting process to the Xbox 360, but aside from the technical shortcomings, this is still a pretty solid experience that brings some good things to the RPG table.
  5. If this were the only console RPG available the numerous flaws might be worth suffering, but when compared to the ambition and polish that other games have brought to the genre in recent years Risen demands far too much and offers too little in return.
  6. 85
    Piranha Bytes has created a new series. Risen is not only a good heir to Gothic, but also establishes solid bases which could mark the way for this studio in the future.
  7. 60
    Dedicated WRPG players who enjoy open world style games will find plenty of stuff to like if they can push themselves past the games numerous faults, unfortunately most of them have probably already played the unquestionably superior PC version of the game. For casual fans of the genre there are already too many solid games on the system (and a lot more on the way) for me to recommend sinking the time into Risen.
  8. Somewhere, hidden in foreboding mountain peaks, deep under a gloomy cave, or in the back of a forgotten whorehouse, there is fun to be had in Risen. To be honest, I'll probably keep looking for it -- but I'll do so armed with a walkthrough and the knowledge that playing Risen might be a game of diminishing returns.
  9. While Gothic sails away to other developers, Piranha Bytes turns the tide with this return to the origins of true RPG. Deep, polished, compelling, Risen is an RPG for RPG true lovers. Some small glitches and a general lack of accessibility make it step down a little bit on the score, but it's still THE game to have if you love RPGs.
  10. Risen is actually a real shame because of its promises. The world looks great and it’s funny to explore, but developers didn't pay enough attention to essential aspects like the combat and character progression.
  11. Risen is a mediocre products that doesn't succeed to make the name of Piranha Bytes shine again after the deluding Gothic 3. Despite some good ideas, the game is not much stimulating, proving fit just for hardcore gamers. Should you not be one of them, you'd better look for something else or you will be inevitably driven into boredom and frustration.
  12. Risen is by no means a perfect port, or the best western style RPG on the Xbox 360. Despite its flaws I had fun with this game.
  13. 80
    Risen is a successful RPG that looks really good and offers a lot of fun gameplay, which keeps you busy for hours and hours. However it's a pity that the game offers less innovation.
  14. As an Xbox 360 RPG, even as an Xbox 360 fantasy RPG, it's so unpolished, so devoid of the oomph demanded by current gen games, so inaccessible and needlessly punishing, that it's offensive.
  15. An interesting script and missions can't save this miserable morass of repetitious role-playing.
  16. AceGamez
    Thankfully shipping without some kind of half-arsed multiplayer, Risen is the kind of game that will probably get played by fans of the genre but overlooked by everyone else, which is a bloody shame really, as there is a decent game behind the niggles - and one that impresses more often than it disappoints.
  17. Official Xbox Magazine
    Enough neat touches that speak to diehard Euro-RPG fans. [Apr 2010, p.84]
  18. Risen is a RPG like you would expect from Piranha Bytes: an interesting world that dynamically reacts to your actions, filled with enough quests, areas and secrets to keep you busy for hours. But it's also filled with bugs and design flaws that will ruin the experience for most gamers.
  19. I could go on, but over the course of this review I've already described a litany of qualities that should win over players who appreciate mature RPG experiences with quality commensurate to the amount of time spent in them. However, there's no getting around the fact that first impressions will likely turn a lot of potential adventurers off.
  20. Official Xbox Magazine UK
    Feels unfinished. [Dec 2009, p.94]
  21. With over 250 quests, Risen is a comprehensive game, in which you can follow the story in the order you like. Sad that the developers haven’t drive the hardware up to the limit!
  22. Lacking in polish and attention to detail, Risen still stands up as an absorbing and hugely playable RPG title.
  23. And if this were just a pen-and-paper experience, it would be almost perfect. The problem is, this isn’t a pen-and-paper adventure—it’s a video game. That means the action doesn’t take place in your mind’s eye. It happens right in front of you on the screen.
  24. Very few games are excused by players who are willing to look past the flaws in exchange for a throwback story-exploration experience. If you have an unconditional love for the Gothic series but, for some reason, stopped playing games on your PC, you might end up being able to appreciate this rough port.
  25. Risen is a game that does nothing wrong, but at the same is not bringing something new either. The ambiance of the game is perfect and the story is very good and convincing. It’s too bad Risen is starting up slow and the graphics could have been better. This is a game made for RPG fans, people who don’t like RPG’s should probably focus on other games.
  26. Risen manages to be, especially thanks to its gameplay and story, an involving and exciting RPG guaranteeing may hours of entertainment. Suggested to all the fans of classic RPGs, while all the others should prepare for some hours of difficulties and frustration before seeing it shine.
  27. Unless you fit into the hardcore RPG demographic, I would sit this one out. However, If you are part of the demographic, then 'Risen' is a niche game that will entice your adventurers sensibilities-- that is, if you don't mind sitting through a few glitchy spots for the thrill of the hunt.
  28. Overall, there just isn't enough here to justify your time or your dime. Risen's got some depth and some detail, but you won't be able to get around the frustrating controls, irritating character development and levelling system, difficult combat, and sheer unfriendliness long enough to enjoy the story or the visuals.
  29. 65
    Risen's sometimes engaging story and realistic characters aren't enough to save it from being benched as the stars take the field in this year's first quarter.
  30. 65
    Only the truly dedicated RPG player will persist through to the bitter end of Risen, as there's a great deal of perseverance required to even make it through the first section without tearing your hair out. The combat really lets the side down and the 360 visuals leave a lot to be desired, but stick with it and Risen will eventually suck you inexorably into its uniquely absorbing fantasy world.
  31. The issues are, to be perfectly fair, countless. One could nitpick problems forever and write a novel regarding them, but stepping into a game of this style you have to expect a little roughness – and unfortunately that is found in spades.
  32. As an average RPG fan, fun moments in Risen came in doses and to get to them, it required some patience which includes saving lots, various boring missions and taking plenty of damage.
  33. Developers like Bethesda and Bioware seem to have found something that works with console RPG fans the best, and if Risen was an experiment to see if they can be pushed further in the direction of discovering the game all by themselves, I think we can call this one a failure.
  34. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    The worst RPG on 360 by a wide margin. [Christmas 2009, p.99]
  35. If you can overlook the flaws and are desperate for an RPG then its passable, otherwise avoid.
  36. Up against such revered and critically acclaimed competition, Risen cannot help but come across as a shabby, underdeveloped pretender with none of the polish or insight shown by much older games.
  37. First of all Risen is an RPG made for RPGs lovers. Thus, it’s definitely not a casual game for it demands effort, patience and time before the player can master its wide structure and all of its various elements. A large and fully explorable island and the frequent decisions you’re asked to take make this game almost endless.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 79 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 79
  2. Negative: 22 out of 79
  1. May 25, 2011
    I quite enjoyed this game. Feel as if it has been hard done by. The gameplay works well, storyline is good and the island that it is set on isI quite enjoyed this game. Feel as if it has been hard done by. The gameplay works well, storyline is good and the island that it is set on is believable. Would definetly recommend this to rpg fans, has been underrated. Full Review »
  2. Feb 11, 2014
    Very fun but difficult game, I found myself saving frequently as the traps in the game were overboard and monsters sometimes caused instantVery fun but difficult game, I found myself saving frequently as the traps in the game were overboard and monsters sometimes caused instant deaths resulting in game over! Graphics are dated but story is good and music is great. Combat is decent but I did struggle with annoyance as it seemed like even enemies who you'd think wouldn't be very intelligent blocked like they were a master of the art. Glitches do occur and several times I witnessed my screen turning different colors resulting in a dashboard of the 360 and not to mention I fought the end boss invisible as my character would not load up for some reason. Full Review »
  3. Apr 30, 2012
    Risen 1 is the best RPG i have played in my life. ( except some japanese rpg)
    Its really better than skyrim, even witcher 2 that i love,
    Risen 1 is the best RPG i have played in my life. ( except some japanese rpg)
    Its really better than skyrim, even witcher 2 that i love, dragon age...

    BECAUSE the STORY, the characters, the quests, the items, magic, the worlds, the difficulty in battle, ARE AT THEIR BEST !!! no game can beat that. Risen 1 is a game like no other.

    its the only game that i feel im really living in that world. i played 30 hours without sleep the first time i played. Try it for yourself, its really better than any other rpg if you have patience.

    i played both the PC and xbox 360 version. the xbox 360 version is not beautiful VS PC, but its still the same game. RISEN 1 is the best !
    Full Review »